It’s time to look to the skies again Outsiders as this week, we’ll get to see another fascinating celestial phenomenon. We’ve already seen one of this year’s most spectacular meteor showers. Now, stargazers should be on the lookout for the appearance of some of our planet’s closest neighbors, Mars and Venus. Read on to find out why.
The planets’ appearance is sure to offer a great view, however, The U.S. Sun states that for the best view, stargazers have to be willing to brave the morning cold. The celestial event will take place during the early hours of Saturday morning. NASA informed interested individuals to look southeast about 45 minutes before sunrise in order to catch sight of them.
The planets make their bright return to Earth‘s sky together, The U.S. Sun stating Venus will reappear for the first time since last month. Venus’s Saturday morning appearance sees the planet rising just before the sun, nicknamed the “Morning Star.”
Additionally, Venus’s return to the sky will be so bright, Outsiders will likely see the planet during the day.
As for Mars, the Red Planet comes back into view simultaneously. The news outlet reports it had been hiding behind the sun over the last few months. Interestingly, the smaller planet’s reappearance marks a strange biannual event for NASA. As Mars returns to Earth’s skies, NASA’s scientists briefly lose contact with their spacecraft on the Red Planet. They estimate they will not regain communication for about two weeks.
So, as Saturday draws near, keep an eye on weather reports to be sure cloudy skies don’t ruin your celestial view this week.
NASA’s Mars Rover Strikes Celestial Gold
While Outsiders look forward to Mars’ Saturday morning appearance, NASA remains hard at work exploring the surface of the Red Planet, its rovers digging up new finds previously unimaginable.
Now, after a longstanding question regarding whether or not the planet’s Jezero crater has once been a lake, NASA’s Mars rover, Perseverance, has found evidence that this was in fact the case.
The idea that Mars had once been host to deposits of water is fascinating enough. However, in its travels, Perseverance found that not only had the Jezero crater once been a lake. It was also able to identify the origin of the previously unknown stones located in the rover’s landing zone.
Now, in addition to confirming the existence of the Red Planet’s prehistoric lake, we also know the small planet boasted volcanic properties. In its exploration of Mars, Perseverance was able to hone in on the inner crystals of the stones within the landing zone, Ken Farley of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena explaining these were the ultimate tip-off.
“A good student of geology will tell you,” Farley began, “that such texture indicates that rocks formed, grew into crystals and settled in cold, cold magma.”
This could have been a thick lava flow, lava lake, or magma chamber.
During its altering expedition, Perseverance also collected a rock sample to bring back to Earth for further investigation.